Mulgrave’s Festival of Trees – with a twist

·2 min read

MULGRAVE – “This year with COVID, people have been struggling lately, some people have lost their jobs in the community. It is a tough time for everyone. I figured why not change it up to help the people in our community,” Town of Mulgrave Recreation Director Heather Brennan told The Journal regarding the new spin they put on its annual Festival of the Trees.

This year, instead of dressing a tree to the nines, festival participants were asked to build a tree, or any Christmas-themed art piece, out of non-perishable food items to be donated later to the recently created food pantry.

First, second and third-place winners will be selected through online voting. For residents not online, they can cast ballots at the town office.

While a prize will be awarded, Brennan said, “Everybody is a winner.”

The response to the competition was greater than Brennan had expected with 10 entries and a great amount of food donated to the food pantry.

“I am pleasantly surprised by how many people have done it and the amount of food taken in has surpassed what I thought,” she said.

Participants taking part in the festival include local businesses Mulgrave Machine Works and DSM, along with the Town of Mulgrave, Royal Canadian Legion Branch #37 Mulgrave, Mulgrave Heritage Centre, Atlantic Association of CBDCs and several groups of friends.

Along with the food used in the displays, Brennan said community members have been dropping off food at the Mulgrave Memorial Centre, where the Festive of Trees is set up in the hallway, for the food pantry.

The food pantry is an initiative of the Mulgrave Medical Centre Board that got off the ground this past summer. Board chair Al England told The Journal that the project has been a “greatsuccess to date; a lot of people are supporting it financially and with goods.”

The pantry consists of a locker and a cooler constantly restocked with food. It is being moved from the medical centre to the vestibule in the Superport building where the East Coast Credit Union has an ATM.

“They were gracious enough to allow us to use that space and we are very thankful and appreciative of that,” said England, adding that the location was temporary for the winter months and the pantry would return to the medical centre, when weather allowed.

England said of the pantry project, “It has been an excellent project and it has been well received. We are grateful that it is being supported in the manor that it is and hopefully it is providing some help and assistance to those that really need the help at this time of year.”

Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal